Re: Virginia's Remains Found?

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Posted by Jim Person on January 12, 2004 at 12:07:45:

In Reply to: Re: Virginia's Remains Found? posted by Mabry Tyson on June 19, 2003 at 11:53:19:

: A wreck has been found that some think might be the Virginia. See this news article at the Virginian-Pilot's online site. It would be great if they are right, but...

: * The Virginia has been the subject of several salvage efforts in the 1800s (with subsequent destruction to avoid its being a navigation hazard). It seems unlikely that much is still intact. (See this excellent page by Jeff Johnston on salvage efforts on the Virginia and these contemporary news items on salvage efforts in 1874 and 1876.)
: * Johnston's article indicates that the boilers of the Virginia were reported recovered previously so it seems unlikely that the boiler they found was from the Virginia.
: * Clive Cussler, author and specialist in finding old wrecks, looked for the Virginia in the last 20 years but reported he found no sign of the wreck.
: * I have correlated an old chart marking the wreckage of the Virginia with modern charts and aerial photos. From that data, I do not believe the Virginia's wreckage is at the location where they found this material. However, the chart might be wrong (which might also explain why Cussler didn't find anything).

Back in early 1966, while preparing a school project on Virginia history, my mother brought to my attention a then-recent article in The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot or Ledger-Star. The story told of the recent finding of a significant portion of C.S.S. Virginia's casemate or boilers near Craney Island. The article was accompanied by a photo of a smiling woman holding the ship's broken bell, which for some years had hung in the belfy of a Norfolk church before being damaged in a fire.

I no longer have access to that article, and all I've said above is from memory. Perhaps someone with access to back issues of the Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star on microfilm would be interested in researching this information. The article appeared sometime during the early months of 1966.

Thank you for providing such an informative site on C.S.S. Virginia.

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